Follow up NTSB Safety Recommendations12/13/2010
I write to you today to follow-up on a recommendation that was issued to the Federal Transit Administration (FT A) by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and to ask you for help in implementing its intent.
The NTSB makes the following recommendation:
- Facilitate the development of non-punitive safety reporting programs at all transit agencies to collect reports from employees in all divisions within their agencies and to have their safety departments; representatives of their operations, maintenance, and engineering departments; and representatives of labor organizations regularly review these reports and share the results of those reviews across all divisions of their agencies (R-l 0-4).
In the aviation sector, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established an effective system for reporting close calls, A VRS: http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/overview/summary.html. For the railroad mode, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has developed a demonstration pilot program for confidential close call reporting, C3RS: http://www.closecallsrail.org/pilot.aspx.
FTA is exploring various methods to facilitate such systems; we held our first Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) meeting in Washington, DC on September 9-10,2010, where we discussed reporting systems as integral parts ofeffective safety programs. In addition, we held our 14th Annual State Safety Oversight meeting in Memphis, Tennessee September 27 through October 1, 2010, where we discussed several reporting system models. In early 2011, we will be convening a CEO Safety Summit to further discuss this issue with key stakeholders.
I sincerely believe we can improve transit safety by fostering a work environment where employees are free to report problems without fear ofretribution. So, I am asking you to examine your internal safety reporting system to determine the extent of its non-punitive nature and to make any necessary enhancements. To help guide you in this process, a TCRP Interim Report that includes an implementation checklist for developing a non-punitive safety reporting system is available on-line at: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/docs/TCRPA-34%20IR.pdf.
We at the FTA and the U.S. Department ofTransportation hold safety as our number one priority. It is important that each transit agency review their reporting systems with an eye toward addressing the intent ofthis recommendation.